<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today click here

A Harrogate bricklayer turns his hands to Yorkshire sculpture

PUBLISHED: 14:57 15 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:19 20 February 2013

Johnny’s ‘organic free-form walls’ give an optical illusion of movement

Johnny’s ‘organic free-form walls’ give an optical illusion of movement

A Harrogate bricklayer-turned-sculptor has transformed the Yorkshire tradition of drystone walling into an exciting new art form.

A Harrogate bricklayer-turned-sculptor has transformed the Yorkshire tradition of drystone walling into an exciting new art form.


Johnny Clasper, a name not to be forgotten in a hurry, creates what he imaginatively describes as organic free-form walls to reinvent the way people design their gardens


The stonemason and professional member of the Yorkshire Drystone Walling Guild explained further: Nobody else in the country is using stone like me. My philosophy and work are grounded in the traditions and strong materials of Yorkshire and really celebrate the intrinsic beauty of stonework. Drystone walling doesnt use cement or any form of bonding material, so its a craft that requires a lot of patience and skill to create that perfect combination of weight versus gravity.

I want to break the rules and create something thats very much homage to that tradition and skill, but with an edge. This is radical design that blends with nature.

After leaving Harrogate College with a qualification in bricklaying, he worked in the construction business building houses. That was a great grounding for me, said Johnny. The money was good, but I had a hankering to sculpt that I just couldnt shake. I wanted to test my own skills. And I wanted to work with natural curves that lend themselves to nature rather than square boxes.

Moving out of mainstream construction, he worked for a specialist stoneworker before deciding to set up on his own.

The art work I do is a compulsion really, he said. An idea becomes an almost constant thought, something that I need to do.

I have a great, all-encompassing passion for working with stone. Ive studied many styles of stone masonry and extracted bits and pieces of each. Ive then combined everything I know and put my own stamp on the work.

As a sculptor, I am inspired by nature and the fluid lines and shapes I see every day around me. I like to bend the rules as much as I can in my work.

I love doing what I do. I especially love the looks on peoples faces when they try to figure out how its all possible.


The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Yorkshire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

0 comments

More from Out & About

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Samantha Gibson of Bettys & Taylors joins a group of volunteers helping to protect the landscape by planting trees in the Yorkshire Dales.

Read more
Yorkshire Dales
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Take two summits in your stride to enjoy wide fell views, says Terry Fletcher.

Read more
Yorkshire Dales Walks
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Test your knowledge on Yorkshire with this picture based quiz.

Read more
Monday, May 15, 2017

Hull might be grabbing all the headlines but East Yorkshire’s premier market town is a culture hub too, says Jo Haywood.

Read more
Beverley
Thursday, May 11, 2017

View the iconic village of Staithes from a completely different persective.

Read more
Coastal Yorkshire
Thursday, May 11, 2017

One of Yorkshire’s leading coastal resorts is getting ready for a glorious summer with big names, big developments — and a big call for beach huts, says Tony Greenway.

Read more
Scarborough
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Butterflies are one of our most familiar natural delights but Yorkshire is also home to some of the rarest of these miniature winged wonders. Tom Marshall from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust sets out in search of them.

Read more
Yorkshire Wildlife
Monday, May 8, 2017

Yorkshire is the UK’s top county for holidays with a literary link, we explore the highlights.

Read more
Monday, May 8, 2017

West End choreographer Steve Elias brought dance to the streets of Yorkshire in his BBC series Our Dancing Town and now he’s helping to bring a sense of pride back to one of the county’s oldest arts venues.

Read more
Barnsley
Thursday, May 4, 2017

What to do and where to go in the North Yorkshire town this spring

Read more
Thirsk

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Yorkshire Life Application Link

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Yorkshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area




Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search